Reliance Communications boss Anil Ambani. (Photo Credit: PTI file)
The High Court of England and Wales in London on Friday ordered Reliance Communications boss Anil Ambani to deposit USD 100 million towards a conditional order granted to three Chinese banks pursuing the recovery of over USD 680 million owed to them as part of a loan agreement.
In what is in effect a deposit to be paid into court pending a full trial in the case, Judge David Waksman has set a six-week timeline for such a payment to be made as he concluded that he did not accept Ambani's defence that his net worth was nearly zero or that his family would not step in to assist him when "push came to shove".
"In my overall conclusion, Mr Ambani has not satisfied me that he can't make any payment at all," Judge Waksman said as he expressed particular criticism of a "lack of candour" and "transparency" on the part of Ambani's defence in reference to his financial means. The Reliance Group indicated that it plans to appeal against the ruling, which will involve a process of seeking permission to appeal.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd Mumbai Branch, on behalf of itself, China Development Bank and Exim Bank of China, had sought summary judgment against Ambani over an alleged breach of a personal guarantee on a debt refinancing loan of around $925 million in February 2012.